In a world where industries such as engineering, construction and logistics are typically male dominated, Eastern Cape born entrepreneur, Siphokazi Matsha is determined to change the status quo.
With a BTech Degree in Logistics management and a number of years of experience in the field, Matsha started Go Girl Logistics - a full-service logistics and courier company that provides a selection of specialised and reliable services for a diverse clientele that includes individuals and organisations.
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Go Girl logistics is 100% black female owned and its mandate is to empower women within the sector through the hiring, training and leadership of women.
“We have female drivers who run our logistics business and we intend to hire women drivers exclusively. Not only because of our passion for empowerment, but also because of our firm belief that the women we hire work hard to provide the services for which we have built a positive track record,” Siphokazi says.
She sat down with TRUELOVE to tell us about her company and her passion for empowering women.
Please tell us who Siphokazi is?
Siphokazi is a person who is happy to leave things better than how I found them. I am a very passionate person who is very well detailed in everything I do. Above all, God is my strength and my inspiration to keep going against all odds. Family is also important to me and plays a huge role in my wellbeing.
Did you always know what you wanted to become even from a young age?
I’ve always known that I wanted to live a meaningful life and I think that starting a business that is bigger than just you is meaningful. You discover more about yourself as you grow and go through certain things in life. I have reached a phase in my life where I am passionate about what I do which is to empower young women in my space.
Please take us through your journey of starting Go Girl Logistics. What was the inspiration behind it?
I hold a BTech Degree in logistics and I have gained more than enough experience in logistics and supply chain. The gap in the industry of having very few women that owned logistics company is what inspired me to start Go Girl Logistics. Above all, I want to show other women that it is possible to be very competitive in this male dominated industry and still have an exceptional impact.
What are some of the challenges you faced when breaking into the industry?
Gaining trust and credibility was a big problem. It still is because there are a lot of role players in the industry who have been in the industry for many years. We overcome those challenges by giving excellent and quality service to our clients and partners. We’ve had to work extremely hard to prove that we understood the industry and the value chain we are trying to build. As women we are forever proving a point that we are just good as men.
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Why is it important for you to empower women through your business?
It is extremely important because women have previously been stereotyped as belonging in administrative roles or home executives. There is still a huge gap that we need to fill. We have a strong voice and we are educated and smart. We don’t want handouts but to be given opportunities to make our impact in any industry.
How many women have you employed in your company to date?
Altogether we have employed 7 women and 3 men. We work with women who are goal driven and who love what they do and do it so well. The plan is to have a foot print all over the country and to create more jobs for young women and the youth as a whole, should they have a passion for the logistic industry.
How did the pandemic affect Go Girl Logistics?
The pandemic affected us positively because we took time to evaluate where we are and where we want to be. Our core business is in the healthcare sector where we transport medical specimen, refrigerated goods and healthcare waste. This has allowed us to add two personnel who were retrenched due to the pandemic.
As John F Kennedy once said: “The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word 'crisis.' One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger - but recognise the opportunity.”
What advice would you give to a fellow female entrepreneur who wishes to break into a male dominated industry?
Don't be intimidated by the fact that it's a male dominated industry, just be confident in the services that you offer and learn your business very well.
What would you say are the top 3 secrets of running a successful business?
Commitment is key, consistency as well as being hands-on.
Where would you like to see Go Girl Logistics in 5 years?
We want to grow our business internationally whilst empowering women and men along the way, I want to increase my footprint across Africa and venture into number of opportunities within the logistics business.